The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Yesterday, I fell for one of those spoof emails that goes around, and around.

It made me laugh out loud, and, funnily enough, I called it 'Getting the story right'. But the laugh is on me. Shortly after I decided to pass it on, via the GenWise website, where I also have a blog, Ed Douglasss sent a warning:

Maybe this is a clever joke. Maybe it is dead serious. I don't know. But there is a lesson to be learned, depending on the facts of the situation.

How confident can we be that the biographical sketch of Remus Reid was, in fact, prepared by the staff of Harry Reid? That it was prepared honestly? That it was not prepared consciously as a preposterous joke?

If we can't be sure, then this biography is, itself, spin spun in the opposite direction.

My belief is that what Remus Reid did in his life is no relection whatsoever on Harry Reid.

So, I decided to do some research - something I should have done first, before passing it on. And, sure enough, up came the details of how the story is just a piece of fiction.

So, 'Getting it right' is something I need to work harder at.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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